HAVANA TIMES — My dear father is a true revolutionary soldier, one who describes himself as an “unconditional supporter.” He’ll put his shoulder to any Olympian task and attempt to execute it without question…though later he might grumble.
That was how he was educated and how I imagine he’ll be until the day his soul takes leave of his body. I’d go so far as to say he belongs to that Abrahamic generation that will never hesitate when given any “divine” mandate.
And a divine command was given to him — for the umpteenth time — with the start of weekly fumigations of our building against dengue-carrying mosquitos.
In every block or apartment building, there are always some “undisciplined” people who refuse to open their doors to this vector-control campaign. Their reasons? – they’re diverse.
Sometimes it will be because the fumigators arrive unannounced or at an inappropriate time. Other times it might be because there’s someone sick in the home or the resident might have something urgent to do.
Then too, the occupant may just not want to be bothered. But my father has never prevented them from spraying, no matter what the circumstance.
One day, from out of nowhere, the Ghostbusters-looking crew appeared at dinner time and with a few drinks under their belts. Almost no resident opened their door, yet my father stepped forward and let them in.
On another occasion someone in the family was struggling with bronchitis, but — all the same — with fever and coughing, they had to go out into the hall while the smoke filled our house. Wow, just think how it would be if everybody was like my father – dengue wouldn’t last longer than a cake.
As one of those ironies of life, or perhaps out of revenge, our building became infested with mosquitos. So who do you think paid the price? My family of course. Everybody ended up getting infected at the same time. My mother got it so bad that she had to be admitted into the hospital.
We tried everything to keep my grandmother from being admitted for fear that she would suffer complications and never return, just like what happened to my grandfather. We were therefore leery of all hospitals, but when we got to the ward for dengue patients at the Covadonga Hospital, it was a big surprise.
The floors and bathrooms gleamed. Similarly, the sheets were clean and the service was excellent. The food was even acceptable and they served meat every day. But what impressed us the most was the quality of the nurses.
The problem is that this profession requires a lot dedication and experience, but for some time now, what’s most common is that you’ll run into the typical nurse/reggaeton fan.
These nurse/reggaetoners are generally super young boys who dress like people on their way to a disco. They work in the health care field because they have no other choice (and they let you know it).
They are orphans of any knowledge or skill, and they pass their time engaging in erotic games or screwing around with the peers. And all of these youthful shenanigans are in an environment that requires — more than anything — peace and quiet.
Well, there was none of that at Covadonga. The nurses there were excellent (they were young, admittedly, but also friendly, attentive and skilled in their profession). A Mother Superior-type supervised the work of the unit and kept an eye on everything so that store-product re-sellers didn’t invade the ward. As a result, the services were of high quality.
Thanks to them the story ended happily. My family was back to health after a week, and my father — with the patience of Job — came out of that test with his faith renewed.
PS: Several people and even doctors have told me that my hospital experience at Covadonga was an exception.